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Strong mobile launches drive NetEase revenues

Onmyyoji and Knives Out attract big player numbers and are backed up by ecommerce growth

NetEase has reported a 41.7 per cent increase in revenues to RMB 54.1bn ($8.3bn) for its 2017 fiscal year.

Net revenues for online games grew 23 per cent to RMB 36.3bn ($5.6bn). Of this number, mobile games accounted for 70.8 per cent of the total - that's up from 61.9 per cent in 2016.

E-commerce posted even larger gains, jumping over 60 per cent to RMB 11.7bn ($1.8bn). Advertising revenues were up ever so slightly at RMB 2.4bn ($370.2m). Overall profit for the period was up 16 per cent at RMB 25.9bn ($4bn).

For Q4, net revenues grew 20.7 per cent to RMB 14.6bn ($2.2bn), although online games revenues were down year-on-year. Going the other way were ecommerce revenues, which surged 175 per cent to RMB 4.7bn ($1.2bn). Advertising revenues climbed 10.8 per cent to RMB 736.6m ($113.2m). Overall Q4 profit fell 11.1 per cent to RMB 5.7bn ($882.9m).

Mobile games Onmyoji (which has already had an English release in some markets) and New Ghost were singled out for their performance, while the ecommerce success was driven by and Yanxuan. In Q4 in particular, new release Knives Out attracted over 100m registered users since its launch in November while Terminator 2: Judgement Day has 80m+ registered users.

The company also launched Minecraft in China during Q4, which is said to be "progressing well". NetEase's plans to introduce "small scale monetisation" into the title in the first half of 2018 are still on track. Microsoft's game joins the company's existing stable of Blizzard titles that it operates in the region.

"2017 marked another year of progress with growth across each of our core business segments year-over-year," CEO William Ding said. "Our total net revenues for the year increased by 41.7 per cent as we brought a number of new blockbuster online games to audiences across the globe, considerably scaled our e-commerce business and further grew our landmark advertising services and e-mail and others business lines.

"Our business remains strong and our 2018 initiatives to bring exciting new titles to our robust and diverse portfolio of self-developed games are well underway. To expand our reach, we will also seek partnerships with other industry leaders to bring mobile and PC-client games to audiences worldwide."